August 16, 2022

Case Count Grows to 38 in Family Cow Campylobacter Outbreak

The Campylobacter outbreak associated with Family Cow raw milk has sickened 38 people in four states and continues to grow, a Pennsylvania health official confirmed this afternoon.

Case distribution:

  • Maryland (4)
  • West Virginia (2)
  • Pennsylvania (31)
  • New Jersey (1)

Details about the cases:

  • Onset range: 1/18/2012 – 1/28/2012
  • Ages: Range 2 – 74 years (Median, 26 years)
  • 47.4% are under the age of 18

The Pennsylvania Department of Health said that the investigation is ongoing and additional confirmed cases are expected, according to Holli Senior, Deputy Press Secretary of Health Press and Communications of the Pennsylvania Health Department.

Breakdown of cases by county:

  • Adams (1)
  • Allegheny (1)
  • Bucks (2)
  • Cumberland (2)
  • Delaware (3)
  • Franklin (18)
  • Lancaster (2)
  • York (2)

The Maryland Health Department found the bacteria in two unopened bottles of raw milk produced by the Shankstead Ecofarm and made the results public Thursday. The tests by the Pennsylvania Department of Health may be available later today.

Health officials are advising consumers to discard raw milk purchased from the farm on or after Jan. 1.  The milk is labeled “raw milk” (meaning not pasteurized) and is sold under “The Family Cow” label in plastic gallon, half gallon, quart and pint containers.  It was sold at multiple locations including the on-farm retail store and drop-off locations and retail stores in the following Pennsylvania counties:  Bucks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Lebanon, Montgomery, Philadelphia and York counties.

The outbreak has grown rapidly over the last week. When it was first reported January 27, there were six confirmed cases,  there are now at least 35  and more cases are expected, health officials say.

Campylobacter causes an infection called campylobacteriosis, symptoms include  diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever within two to five days after exposure to the bacteria. The diarrhea may be bloody and can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. The illness typically lasts one week.


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